NetOne gets it right with the simple but comprehensive OneFusion package

Nigel Gambanga Avatar
NetOne, Zimbabwean telecoms, Airtime packages in Zimbabwe

NetOne, Zimbabwe’s second largest mobile operator recently introduced a new prepaid package that ties up voice , data and SMS bundles into one suite.

Called OneFusion, it has been promoted by NetOne as a package that helps subscribers manage how much they spend on airtime. By paying between $5 and $200 a subscriber gets all the prepaid communication services being served up by NetOne right now.

OneFusion has caught a lot of flak because of some of its inherent weaknesses. However, a closer look at the service shows that this could be one thing that NetOne actually got right.

OneFusion scores with simplicity

After the fumble that came with the redesign of its popular Dollar A Day promotion into a complicated service OneFusion manages to walk away from that. The package is very easy to use and understand.

As far as product simplicity goes, NetOne is scoring points. I loved the fact that I only need one USSD code to gain access to a simple list of options that give access to NetOne’s entire prepaid communications list.

It’s the same sort of value proposition that Telecel has been communicating with its MegaChat Bundles. NetOne has taken this a step further by offering a bigger allowance for social media and data.

There’s no need for me to buy separate bundles for social media, voice, international minutes SMS and data. This also helps me avoid the complication that comes with airtime being used up while I make all these separate transactions.

It also brings in the element of honesty, something that all mobile operators haven’t been able to communicate effectively and represent entirely.

Issues like subscriptions that are auto-renewed, out of bundle airtime that starts vanishing as soon as I top up and VAS applications that I am signed on to without my consent have, in the past, done little to create the impression that any money spent on mobile telecoms services is used fairly.

With OneFusion at least my $5 or $10 is used to access all these services and I’m not racing against the likelihood of the mobile operator taking advantage of me.

Some work needed to improve the OneFusion experience

For all its positives I still had some major issues with OneFusion, the biggest of which was the data allocation.

A 30 MB monthly allocation of data for a $10 subscription hardly makes sense in 2016.

While NetOne might argue that my $10 is also covering at least $6 worth of social media access along with voice and SMS, just following a handful of links from Facebook or Twitter in minutes is enough to land me on pages that have data-hungry content like images and video.

The data allocation can’t even support Instagram which at some point was something that NetOne recognised as being so significant that it wanted to introduce bundles for it.

Unless I have other internet options, OneFusion doesn’t cover all my data needs. I guess it’s part of NetOne’s plan – getting me to top up for data bundles anyway which will ensure that the Average Revenue Per User(ARPU) numbers swell beyond the OneFusion subscriptions.

However, any telecoms product that has internet services as leading factors for setup should consider that internet usage patterns have changed significantly. As a provider of broadband services, NetOne has to understand this better than anyone else.

Another issue I have with OneFusion is the assumption that I want SMS or so much for voice.

With services like WhatsApp that has been given prominence in the OneFusion makeup which reduces the need for SMS and calling, I’d have loved for the option to pay for the same amount of money or slightly more for bundles that cater for this reality.

Having said this, I still think the OneFusion package is a step in the right direction for an operator that is trying to redefine itself. This time around, NetOne got it right and with some work OneFusion can only get better.


  1. TheHeist

    I was hoping to see how the package was bundled up.

    1. Nigel Gambanga

      TheHeist we covered the details of the package in a previous article. You can check it out here

  2. TSA-The_Serial_Analyst

    Headline shld read: Ex-telecel manager dumps telecel for Netone and sells off telecel strategies… if not mistaken, the new guy in the netone building recently left telecel and could it not be tht he is simply replicating strategies that were being implemented at his former employer? #FFT

    1. dee

      which ex-telecel manager is that?

  3. Just Sayin’

    Doesn’t necessarily mean that – could be that the guy could not push through his ideas well enough at his previous employers and has succeeded in delivering a more polished product at NetOne. Anyway, the crucial issue here is that NetOne now has the best offering in the market, regardless of whether or not it is BadA**, it is like Nigel said, a “step in the right direction”. If they can follow advice and beef up their data allocations, which is the only thing that really matters these days, then they could be on to a winner. One need only look across the border behind the Boerwors Curtain for a little more inspiration….

    1. cost per unti

      well they have to rethink all data packages on the products above $10 maybe instead of whatsapp bundles just an all nclusive data bundle and if a prson depletes that ndeyekwake. for example 400mb should do it. but then potraz shold lower interconnect charges to almost zero then maybe we can have a package that doesnt care what network you on.

  4. Faraii

    Seems ok but the 30mb allowance put me off. Why dont they give a consumer an option on how they want to structure their package as long as they still use the same amount?

  5. Man Fidza

    i dont think they are in the right direction,because they are going south the voice and sms way while almost the whole Zimbabwe is going north the data way.How can they emphasise on voice and sms and still expect everyone to run to them to get those packages? For me as a data hungry man I’m not moved by those packages,not even an inch.

    1. prince

      fidza abva andipedzera zvekutaura

  6. Richard

    People are just good at complaining there’s a whole lot of data in the package courtesy of social media bundles. I have noticed that Zimbabweans are very much fond of free things if u want more data buy data bundles and forget about one fusion. I found they put all that one needs on each package then they will soon run out of business. Tell me if there’s a package that’s better and more comprehensive than this one in the market.

    1. mwana mwana

      Let me check Richard……, No if i am paying i will still want a better deal always.

    2. Man Fidza

      Richard, I thought as the name suggests ‘One Fusion’,I thought they would at least balance the data with a reasonable amount,big enough to deserve the name One Fusion.

  7. don

    $10 is hardly that much for the value that netone is proposing. This is more like the basic package and you could always go for the higher packages with more data allowance. Alternatively why not top up with data bundles. In my thinking netone did very well. In fact one fusion seems to be easier to grasp than that 7x promo….

    1. ggg

      mdara everything g above 10 needs rethought xz let’s be honest 200 And you only get 750mb. has maya that’s too little by any metrics.
      econet gig is like 35 and 20 there’s a voice bundle for me and 6 +6 for whatsapp that’s less than 80 and I get more no Netone needs to change qhoke bundle structure for more than 10.

  8. Eliphas

    Tell you what Nigel, any exec who sells a telecoms product packaged in $5, $10 and $20 in this environment is a fool. Zim is a $1 economy (literally) and only businesses that break the bulk will succeed. The economy will be worse in 2016 December and there will be noone really buying this OneFusion

  9. Wallace

    Did NetOne redesign the OneFusion bundles?! because looks like they’re offering 800MB (for $10) and 1.7GB ($20). This is ontop of Unlimited Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter. sounds like value for money to me.

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